Just a quick word about Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax) since I talked about HR training zones in my last blog; the only "true/accurate" way to discover what your HRmax is, per given sport/exercise (since it varies), is to perform a "stress test" on a particular piece of equipment that mimics the sport you're interested in. For example, if you want to find what your HRmax is while running, then perform a stress test on a treadmill. If you want to find what your HRmax is while cycling, then perform a stress test on a cycling ergometer. (BTW, they are different..running will be higher) In either case, the equipment will increase load/resistance until you can no longer sustain a given output.
Please do NOT use the formula: HRmax=220-age, it's not even close to accurate...grossly understated probably for liability reasons. If I use that formula, my HRmax would be 170 bpm. That's not even my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (175 bpm). My HRmax is 194 bpm..so you can see it's not even in the ballpark.
Want to find a quick/cheap way of discovering your HRmax on the bike? Put your HR monitor on, then call your Cat 2-3 racer friend on the phone and tell him you want to ride with him..because you want to kick his/her a$$ both on the flats and on the hills. After about 5-10 minutes of trying to keep up with your friend on the ride..look down at your HR monitor..that's your HRmax..hahaha. Seriously, I've found my HRmax more than once on tough group rides with better cyclists. You'll know your at HRmax when it feels like you're going to puke, your head his throbbing and it feels like your heart is going to jump out of your cycling jersey...and most importantly your bpm number will NOT go any higher on your HR monitor...that's your HRmax.